Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo

Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo

 1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah QLD 4519, Australia +61 7 5436 2000 Website 9am – 5pm Brisbane Campervan Hire

courierhidden (contributor)

Almost exactly one hour’s drive north of Brisbane, Australia Zoo is well worth a visit for locals and tourists alike.

There is a lot of hype surrounding the Zoo and its operations due to the untimely passing of its superstar owner, conservationist and croc hunter, Steve Irwin. Fortunately the Zoo doesn’t disappoint visitors drawn by Steve’s massive appeal with its fantastic furry and reptilian inhabitants.

The Zoo has expanded over the last few years to include tigers and Asian elephants and a state-of-the-art crocoseum to house its daily croc and other wildlife shows. Terri Irwin herself led the croc show on my most recent visit in January 2008. In addition to these new animals, the Zoo still houses its Aussie attractions including a number of the crocs featured in Steve’s movies and documentaries. Other Aussie animals include native snakes and lizards, wombats, kookaburras, tasmanian devils and of course koala’s and kangaroos.

There is also a food court which is very well run with a wide selection of food and drinks and other small attractions (merry-go round, face painting etc) to keep the kids entertained. Australia Zoo staff also wander round the Zoo throughout the day with animals in tow which allow visitors to have a first hand look and at times, touch, of these beautiful animals.

What really impressed me about this Zoo was how clean all the animal exhibits and park was and how happy and healthy the animals seemed. Admission price when I visited in Jan 2008 was $53 adult, $31 child with some discounted family packages available. All in all – a great day out for the whole family!


AdvisorCircle (contributor)

Steve Irwin’s Australian Zoo is top of many peoples list of places to visit. It’s not cheap ($43 adult) so make sure you’ve got plenty of time to wander around the whole zoo and enjoy your time there.
It’s a very professionally run place as you realise from the moment you enter the car park. You are directed to the parking area by a person….not just a sign.
Make sure you get a map as you enter, saves you wandering aimlessly. Also enables you to plan your day around the show times.
We were drawn to the crocodile show by the noise. The “CROCOSEUM” is a huge stadium area (would hate to be there if it was full). Unfortunately we didn’t see Steve Irwin himself, but those guys handling the crocs were great anyway. Very informative.

Check on the net for discount vouchers…they are there!! Try googling “australia zoo+discounts” . I printed the vouchers out, took them with me and threw the staff into confusion, but I got the discount :)


listenerural (contributor)

I took a special bus out to the zoo, that’s run by a bloke that used to work in the zoo. On the way over and back, you can watch movies from when Steve was young and chasing lizards, when he met Terri and nearly got eaten by a croc and all the bloopers. It’s called CC’s Croc Connections and I booked it from my hostel, I haven’t got any other info.
The Zoo itself is beautiful. All the enclosures are really big and clean. There’s a crocoseum with 5000 seats, where you can see croc, tiger and bird shows. I’ve also fed an elephant there and there’s a turte that’s been found by Charles Darwin. There are caretakers walking around with dingoes and baby crocs, so you can see them up close and ofcourse you can walk thru a paddock with kangaroos and koala’s. It’s a great day out!
Unfortunately the owner of this zoo, Steve Irwin, died in a freak accident getting stung by a sting ray. The zoo won’t be the same without him.


 

intrepid_fiona (contributor)

Once I returned to Brisbane I went into Travel Bugs which is a travels agents for backpackers and booked my package for travelling up the East Coast. It cost me $1500 for all my accomidation and tours for 2 weeks and its safe to say I was very excited to start really travelling again. The East Coast is what I had heard most about when researching Australia and I was keen to see and do as much as possible! So this is where It may get a little complicated because I did a lot of traveling and hopping around place to place.

First on the list about an hour or so from Brisbane was Australia Zoo. Somewhere I had been looking forward to visitng since I first found out who Steve Irwin was back when I was a kid! Australia Zoo is by far one of the best zoos and wildlife places I have ever been to. It was so well maintained, organised and looked after. All the staff were very professional, knowledgable, happy and helpful so the customer service at every point of call was incredible. It is a bt pricy I did manage to get a discount because I booked it through the travel agents but it still got about 50 dollars for one adult. All money that goes into the place is put back into conservation of the zoo and other wildlife projects which the Irwin family run. The place itself was also brilliant and every animal regardless of their size had so much space, vegitation and food. At one point when visiting the “pets corner” there was actually a member of staff standing with a dustpan and brush cleanng up the poops from the animals!

It is a massive place Australia Zoo and you definatley have to keep looking at the map so you dont miss out on anything. When you first walk in you are surrounded by the legacy of Steve Irwin and it was sad on some occasions reading about how much this great man did and the passion and love he had for wildlife. There was a little musuem dedicated to his life and all about his family and every where you went through the zoo their were statues, pictures, videos and signs. There were so many animals like you would imagine and I went a bit crazy with my camera, in fact by the end of the day my camera was “exhausted”.

At noon there was an incredible wildlife show situated in the heart of the zoo in a massive stadium which felt a bit like St Jame’s Park! It started where they played music and beautiful birds flew around the stadium in sequence, birds such as hawks, parrots, eagles, cockatoos and so on. They also did a few tricks with members of the Audience collecting money and stuff whch was great. They then brought out the crocodile experts as there was a fence surrounding the middle and a little lake and pool in the middle. They got a member of the auidence to come into the middle of the fenced area and told him they were going to ask him to feed one of the biggest crocks they have in the zoo and told him all these health and safety things making the poor guy nearly shit himself and he tried to back out twice. Finally at the end of the river a little door slowly opened up and you could see a shadow emerging from below… the tinyest crock I had ever seen in my life came swimming up and walked out of the water onto the grass in front of the guy who looked… as you can imagine… a little embarressed but revealed! Next they did bring out a massive crock wth the experts and it was huge they made it jump up for its food out of the pool as the guy stood on a raised platform and wound the crock up so it would run at the guy it was an amazing show and learnt so much about this incredible animal! It was a show I will never forget, they showed a little video as well of Steve Irwin and when he used to do the crock shows for the public which I can imagine would have been an incredible thing to witness. His wife also does it on special occasons like Steve Irwin day etc.

The weather was really hot so strolling around this massive place was a simple joy and you really count have wiped the smile off my face if you tried. I got to take selfies with a kangaroo and held a kolala and an aligator which was the hightlight of the whole trip. I also watched a show all about tigers and watched as ths massive animal gracefully climbd a tree which I had no idea they could even do!

I had got the bus pretty early in the morning and arrived just after it opened but it was still pretty busy for early morning. I stayed till about 4 oclock then I got back on the Greyhound bus to travel to my next destination Noosa where I stayed the night before heading to Rainbow Beach. I wish I could have stayed another night in Noosa as I had heard about how you can go Kayaking with the dolphines and is well reviewed but unfortantley I didnt have time as I was only there for a night. It just means I have to do it again hehe!


genusdirect (contributor)

Saturday was hot…as in 32 degrees hot! It was definitely shorts weather, and I spent the morning mooching around town, getting a respite from the heat when I went to the library for an hour. I’d arranged to meet Donna outside the Visitor’s Centre at 2pm, although I didn’t recognise her at first as she was wearing a black cap and dark glasses! Our first job was to buy our tickets for our visit to Steve Irwin’s Zoo, and thanks to a friendly girl at the Centre we got sorted out pretty quickly.

I appreciate that my oldest brother might get a bit jealous reading this next part, but I have to give a true account of what I’ve been up to. Are you ready? OK…I went to a Kylie Minogue Exhibition! It was Donna’s idea (honestly) and more importantly, it was free! We wandered around looking at the Awards she’s won and the dresses she’s worn (including the ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ one), and I even admitted owning her debut album on tape at one point! It turns out that Donna was more of a Jason Donovan fan, but there’s no accounting for taste I suppose…

We followed this highlight with a wander around the South Bank area of the city, browsing around a market and glimpsing the crowds at the artificial beach. We stopped for a welcome smoothie at one of the cafes, before crossing the bridge to get back to the city centre. As we walked through the Botanic Gardens, Donna insisted that you could do a Bridge Climb here, but I was unconvinced as the views weren’t as attractive as I imagine Sydney’s to be. I think someone had been having her on!

We’d eaten at McDonalds too many times in the previous couple of days, so we decided to be healthy for a change…and headed to KFC! It was an improvement, although they included mayonaise on my PLAIN burger!

This ‘getting dark early’ lark was making my feet ache, as once again I walked Donna home, this time to the YHA. She invited me in for a, erm, water, and we sat and chatted for a while. I wasn’t too late in walking back to ‘Brisbane’s Best Backpackers 2005′ as the bus was picking us up early the next morning.

I woke up at 7.30am as I’d arranged to ring my non-Kylie-loving brother, but the hostel’s phone wasn’t working. So I walked to the nearest phone booth, but a Japanese girl was actually sat down in it, suggesting she’d be on a while. I ended up almost in the city centre, by which time I was sweating cobs even though it was so early! Anyway, whinge over, and I managed to get back on time as the ‘Croc Connections’ minibus pulled up at 9am. Donna had been picked up at 8.30am, and had saved me a seat on an otherwise full bus.

The bus journey was entertaining, as the driver played us a dvd of Steve Irwin’s Life Story. He is sometimes mocked for his over the top enthusiasm, but watching that made me realise just how committed he is to conservation. He is an impressive character, spending large chunks of his life in the bush catching crocodiles, mostly on his own. My favourite part was when one such croc, Agro, bit his foot and in fact could have killed him as he’d got complacent. Steve just got to his feet, looked at Agro, and said “Thanks a lot!”

Once inside the zoo, we watched the elephants being fed, and saw a 175 year old tortoise. These aren’t the most entertaining animals in the world, so after a few seconds we headed over to the koalas. These were much more entertaining, as a few of them were awake, and therefore more active than I’d ever seen them before. I was tempted to pay for a photo of me cuddling one, but it would have taken too long to queue up and we didn’t have that much time.

At 11am, we headed over to the Crocoseum…it was show time! A guy brought out a lot of deadly snakes, then there was a tiger show which involved a couple of hairy moments for the keepers! Then there was a very impressive free flight bird show, with the birds flying high above our heads. it was fascinating how the keepers made hand signals and the birds would duely return, picking them out from the other side of the stadium.

Finally, the one everyone had been waiting for…the crocodile show. We watched as ‘Graham’ sneeked up ever so slowly on the keeper, then jumped up to grab the food with an awesome snap of the jaws. I was pleased to be behind the fence at this stage! They are amazing predators, and have barely changed in the last 60 million years because they are so well adapted to their environment.

We had a bite to eat after the shows, before venturing out again on what was one of the hottest days I’ve ever experienced. Our favourite part of the zoo turned out to be ‘Kangaroo Heaven,’ as unlike with the crocodiles (thankfully), you could wander around and touch the incredibly tame ‘roos. There were dozens and dozens of them, and not one of them flinched as you approached them to give them a stroke. They are the coolest, most laid back animals on the planet I think, and it was great interacting with them.

Wandering around, we saw various reptiles in the middle of the paths, apparently commonplace around here. We also saw emus, otters and more koalas as we walked towards the Tiger Temple. There was lots to see, and in a couple of years the zoo will be 3 times as big, making it one of the best zoos in the world, possibly the best.

Unfortunately time was running out for us, so we headed back towards the main entrance. We saw an absolutely huge bird of prey at one point, sat upright on a branch. It must have been over a metre long, and it looked almost pre-historic to me. The bird aviary was less dramatic, although we saw lots of colourful birds and Donna enjoyed walking through the water sprays to cool off – she was wearing trousers!

We’d just about seen everything by the time we boarded the bus again at 3.30pm, although we’d only just managed it. After a brief stop at a shop selling fresh fruit (we got some pineapples), we relaxed and watched another dvd, this time involving all of Steve’s mishaps over the years. He’s had a few scrapes, and there were plenty of “crikeys,” particularly when a cheeky snake bit him on the nose!

Donna got off at Bunk Backpackers with me and I gave her a quick tour, before we walked into town for something to eat. This time we actually went to a restaurant on Queen Street as it was my last night, and we were feeling frivelous. It was nice relaxing together and chatting, and afterwards I started feeling a bit Christmassy for the first time as the decorations lit up the city centre. It makes a change being warm in December!

I was looking forward to going ‘home’ to New Zealand, but it was sad saying goodbye to Donna. I’m not sure when I’ll see her again as she will be returning to the South Island late January, whereas I’ll be on the North Island then. Regardless, it had been nice seeing a familiar face, and we’ll definitely keep in touch.

As I set my alarm for 4.30am, I felt content with what I’d done on my brief visit to Australia. I could now look forward to my last 12 days on the South Island, before I fly up to Mount Maunganui on the 18th December…


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